A nearly month-long recount of votes in the race for Nassau county executive is now over and it seems like a major political upset may soon be confirmed. With election workers and lawyers poring through the last of more than 8000 absentee ballots, Republican challenger Edward Mangano continued to lead incumbent Democratic county executive Tom Suozzi by 377 votes.
In all, more than a quarter million votes have been recounted in a race that most Democrats expected to be a one-sided victory for Suozzi.
While saying only that he remains optimistic, Mangano, a county legislator from Bethpage, sounded more and more like a candidate expecting to win.
"It's important that we work together and begin this transition period as soon as possible," Mangano said. "January 1st is fast approaching."
The election is far from decided, however. Eight-hundred contested absentee ballots have yet to be counted. Lawyers for both sides will discuss those votes before a judge this Wednesday. Whether those votes are ever counted could decide the election.
According to a Democratic source, some Republicans expected Suozzi to concede at an afternoon news conference. That didn't happen, with Suozzi vowing to see the recount through to its conclusion. But the two term county executive said he was disappointed with both himself and the voters.
"Democrats didn't show up to vote," Suozzi said.
"I just didn't get enough people out to vote."
But while Suozzi said he has regrets about how he handled the race politically, he insisted he has no regrets about his eight years in office.
"Nassau county is better off today that when I took office," Suozzi insisted.